Mediterranean recluse spider
|Mediterranean recluse spider|
Like other species of the genus Loxosceles, bites from the Mediterranean recluse spider can have dangerous effects, causing skin lesions – a condition known as loxoscelism. Despite co-occurrence with humans for millennia, there is only a single report of a human fatality linked to a bite from this species, a case report from 2016 in which no spider was captured for a confirmed identification, and in which the victim suffered from an autoimmune disorder (myasthenia gravis).
This species is considered a cosmopolitan "tramp" species, with widely-scattered occurrences worldwide, including numerous sightings in the United States, where it is commonly confused with the brown recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa); the two species are superficially almost indistinguishable, and misidentifications are common. For instance, in February 2021, the capture of a few Mediterranean recluse spiders in the Shapiro Undergraduate Library at the University of Michigan resulted in its two-day closure.
- "Taxon details Loxosceles rufescens (Dufour, 1820)", World Spider Catalog, Natural History Museum Bern, retrieved 2016-10-06
- Barnes, Jeffrey K. (2003), Brown recluse and Mediterranean recluse spiders, University of Arkansas Arthropod Museum, retrieved 2018-04-18
- Pezzi M, Giglio AM, Scozzafava A, Filippelli O, Serafino G, Verre M. Spider Bite: A Rare Case of Acute Necrotic Arachnidism with Rapid and Fatal Evolution. Case Reports in Emergency Medicine. 2016;2016:7640789. doi:10.1155/2016/7640789.
- Albert Greene, Nancy L. Breisch, Thomas Boardman, Benedict B. Pagac, Edward Kunickis, Randall K. Howes, Paul V. Brown (2009) The Mediterranean Recluse Spider, Loxosceles rufescens (Dufour): An Abundant but Cryptic Inhabitant of Deep Infrastructure in the Washington, D.C. Area (Arachnida: Araneae: Sicariidae). American Entomologist 55(3): 158–169 https://doi.org/10.1093/ae/55.3.158
- Christine Hauser [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/26/us/michigan-library-spiders.html "Need a Book With That Spider? The discovery of Mediterranean recluse spiders at the University of Michigan prompted a two-day closure of one of its libraries"], The New York Times, New York, 26 February 2021. Retrieved on 27 February 2021.
Media related to Loxosceles rufescens at Wikimedia Commons